The last few years have largely brought plenty of good news to most small businesses nationwide, and with the economy continuing to improve considerably (if slowly), that trend certainly appears as though it’s going to stick around for a while. As a consequence, it seems that many owners of these companies are feeling better now about their chances for success overall going forward.
Small business optimism rose again, for the fifth straight quarter, as owners continue to be encouraged by the economic conditions overall, according to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. In all, the level stood at a plus-49 through the end of the third quarter, up considerably from just a year earlier. However, it should be noted that the index still has a long way to go before reaching the heights seen even after the recession began around the start of 2008.
Some concerns linger
Of course, despite the fact that many companies are now feeling as though their positions are improved overall, owners obviously still have some concerns about how their companies are going to fare in the near future, the report said. The single largest concern – shared by just 14 percent of those polled – came as a result of the costs of marketing and advertising their companies. Not far behind, at 13 percent, was competition posed by both larger businesses and those operating online. Another 9 percent remain concerned about the state of the economy, while 6 percent say hiring good workers – and retaining those they already have – is their utmost concern.
Meanwhile, many companies might now be feeling better overall simply because of the opportunities they’re being afforded by a greater emphasis on technology, the report said. Today, more than half of small business owners say they have a mobile version of their company’s website, and 44 percent use mobile devices to keep current when it comes to their firms’ cash flow issues. Another 2 in 5 say they use smartphones and tablets to do simple banking for their businesses, and nearly as many use social network to better deal with customers. Another 16 percent and 14 percent, respectively, use these devices to make deposits and pay bills.
When it comes to securing a company’s financial future, owners might do well to try shopping around for small business insurance. For instance, by finding more affordable commercial insurance, they might be able to trim as much as a few thousand dollars from their bottom lines annually.